Proactive Paperwork Tips
Updated: Sep 6, 2018
Sure, paperwork can be time-consuming and stressful to deal with; the key is to stop it building up into an overwhelming mountain! Consider these proactive steps:
1. BE A BETTER GATEKEEPER AND REDUCE YOUR VOLUME OF MAIL:
Unsubscribe from mailing lists. Register with the Mail Preference Service, the Fundraising Preference Service and the Direct Marketing Association’s “Your Choice” scheme. And fill in the Royal Mail’s “Door to Door” opt-out form. Put a “No Junk Mail Please” sticker on your mailbox.
These days most banks, financial providers and utility companies encourage you to manage your account online and sign up for digital communication only. This is great for reducing paperwork coming into the house and you won't have to worry about losing any documents (as long as you can remember your login and password for each account!)
Don’t be tempted to pickup free magazines & flyers unless you need them for something in particular. Consider cancelling magazine subscriptions you are not making the most of.
2. HAVE A PLACE AND PLAN FOR ALL INCOMING MAIL:
Have a landing area where all incoming mail is initially stored and dealt with. Open mail as soon as you can and then make decision on destination:
“Action” tray - for mail you need to do something with before filing, shredding or recycling. The actions will include things such as writing appointments & reminders on your calendar or in your diary/phone, paying bills, updating information etc.
“Filing” tray - this should contain items which don’t/no longer require action but need to be kept for your records. Once a week incorporate these items into your main household files.
Be decisive and disciplined and try to handle each piece of mail just once or twice at most. It is vital to schedule time each a week to action and file your mail or you run the risk of bills going unpaid, vouchers expiring, missing appointments and deadlines, and losing important documents. Just a few minutes focus on mail each day will stop it building up and weighing on your mind.
I hope you'll find these tips easy to put into practice moving forward. If you need more practical help creating a system, or you're burdened by backlog of paperwork that you can't face alone, then please get in touch, I can help you Rule Your Roost!